tv Book Discussion on The Libertarian Mind CSPAN April 4, 2015 3:00pm-3:58pm EDT
>> reporter: nobody wants that. everybody wants to be left alone. >> there is a startling statistic i can across, a faculty rally a couple weeks ago, 59% of faculty are not on the tenure track anymore. the majority of faculty do not have the protection of tenure. that is markedly different from just 10 years ago when something like 80% or more of faculty had tenure protections so the status of faculty is under assault at the moment. all across higher education and one of the consequences is faculty will be less willing to challenge administrators so we need to be concerned about that.
>> thank you to all these people for having us. great job. thank you very much. >> very relevant book really appreciate it. our authors will be signing in the back of the store and we think each of you for coming tonight and that you come for our next event. thank you all. >> thank you all for coming. [inaudible conversations] >> booktv is on twitter and facebook. tweet us twitter.com/booktv. or post a comment on facebook.com/booktv. first of this week indicate institute's david those present his thoughts on libertarianism.
and discusses his popularity in the u.s. day. >> we are excited to have with us this morning our speakers this morning david boaz, executive vice president of the cato institute, he played a key role in the development of the libertarian movement. he is the author of this new book "the libertarian mind: a menifesto for freedom" and editor of the libertarian reader. he is a provocative commentator and leading authority on domestic issues such as education shoelace, taking the reauthorization of the elementary secondary education act, drug legalization, the rise of libertarianism. former editor of new dog magazine executive director of the council for competitive autonomy. prior to joining cato he has written lots of different publications. his other books include the politics of freedom, and the
cato handbook, many articles in the wall street journal, new york times washington post it cetera frequent commentator on national television and as an example of david's thinking, for many isn't articles he wrote, washington's parasite economy. if you want the federal government to tax and borrow, transfer $4 trillion a year. if you want to build housing for the poor and fine-tune economic ropes, if you want to supply americans for retirement security, then you have to accept such programs come with incentive problems, politicization corruption, waste and multi parasite class. that is an example of a provocative quotes from david, and we're excited to have him with us this morning. >> thank you all for being here. you want to --
>> if you see something here, there are couple seeds and i understand there is now breakfast in the back. the raven group, they graciously invited me to be guests at a lot of their breakfasts please do lunches but he got me to one of his breakfasts, that is a good thing. as you heard the book is the "the libertarian mind: a menifesto for freedom" published by simon and schuster last week, sold out the first day on amazon of the you never know how many copies amazon actually had. let me talk a little bit about libertarianism and the book "the libertarian mind: a menifesto for freedom" and how this relates to what i know or what concerns on the left of many of the people in the audience. libertarianism is the philosophy of freedom, political freedom, personal freedom economic
freedom, and that means libertarian's tend to cut across left/right boundaries. i tried to write the best accessible overview of libertarianism, and there are many great libertarian books from john locke to richard epstein. hopefully it is more accessible than a lot of the more scholarly books are. i wrote it for libertarians who want to have a better understanding of our own philosophy, libertarians who might want a book to give to their friends who say what is this of you are always talking about and also i wrote it for tens of millions of americans who i think all fall into the category though we might call fiscally conservative and socially liberal or fiscally responsible and socially
tolerant. those people i think are broadly libertarian if you think in general the government should be smaller in the economy and general government should leave people alone in their personal lives, whatever details in this book you might not be ready to accept, that means you really are essentials a libertarian. one of my goals in the book is to help those people understand they are not on the red team, they are not on the blue team, their really part of the broad libertarian constituency. i say tens of millions of americans, i actually have a statistical evidence that, david kirby and i advocate a quince is to have published various studies under the theme of the libertarian vote, gallup poll for some years now for some year asked people two questions. do you think the government should be involved in promoting traditional values or is it not the role of the government to protect or promote any set of
values and another question about do you think the government should do more to solve social problems or is that best left to the private sector? they classified people who give one set of answers as liberals, one set as conservatives and people whose acting government should stay out of both of those areas as libertarians and they find recently 20 to 24% of americans fall into the libertarian category. david kirby and i added a third question because we felt those questions were too easy so we added a third question to the array of questions and we got only 13% to 15% of americans falling into the libertarian category but we also had zombie ask a question for us on one of his polls and that question was would you describe yourself as fiscally conservative and
socially liberal also known as libertarian? and the answer to that was 44% said yes. that is a pretty good abound for the libertarian vote in america, if you define libertarian as fiscally conservative and socially liberal 44% of americans are willing to accept the term. in the book i have what i consider the core chapters on but intellectual history of libertarian is some going back to the bible and up to milton friedman and ayn rand on individual rights, what rights do we have as human beings, chapters on individualism, pluralism, toleration, law, civil society, economics and the market process and then of course i have introductory and concluding chapters that put it in a context of contemporary
american politics. the quotation about the parasite economy you heard at the beginning was drawing from that. when you create a government as big as the one we have got, mostly done for idealistic reasons at least by some people there's a bootleggers and baptists element, people who want government to be big because they believe it should take care of people and other people want it to be big because they know they're very talented at getting a piece of what the government as. if you want a government that big you will get incentive problems, politicization, corruption, wastes, in that chapter i added the line from the godfather this is the business you have chosen. if this is the business you have chosen then this is the result you have to accept dealing with. i would say libertarians'
politically favor lower taxes, less regulation, more tolerance toward gay marriage and marijuana, more skepticism about endless for morris the boat is mostly about the deeper principles that underlie those policies but it does have the longest chapter in the book on contemporary policy problems ranging from endless foreign wars to health care and economic growth. because of the venue we are in here, high want to say something about tensions between moderate liberals and libertarians. i see various liberal magazines with lots of attacks on libertarians and i suppose it is fair to say libertarian magazines have lots of attacks on modern liberals. the first thing that libertarians say when we talk about liberal libertarian tension is we are liberals, we're descended from the
classical liberals. we consider ourselves liberal in the sense of john locke and adam smith and thomas jefferson and john stuart mill and somewhere around the end of the nineteenth century a split occurred among liberals not so much on principles of free speech, religious freedom, extending the promises of the declaration of independence to more and more people but on the issue of economics and the government's role in the economy. we are still liberals but now we have to call ourselves classical liberals because otherwise people wouldn't understand. modern liberals and libertarians agree on a lot of things even though we may talk a lot more about the things we disagree about. thursday the washington post had an article on civil libertarians and libertarian leanings tea party conservatives coming together in the virginia
legislature to fight things like drones, license plate readers, wiretapping, and i thought that was interesting to see even in richmond there could be this alliance between the aclu and the libertarian republicans. there is a lot of that going on. a lot of talk especially since ferguson but long before that about police misconduct, the way the police treat minority communities, police militarization and the cato institute was way ahead of the game [speaking in native tongue] institute being a flagship libertarian institution on police militarization and we have also for some years been running a web site called police misconduct, you have all heard in the past few months there is no national database of police misconduct except maybe the one we are running which is obviously an official. we have to comb the newspapers which has been made much easier in the days of the internet to
find examples of police misconduct and record them. you can find examples that can be categorized by city state and so on. libertarians and liberals agree on opposing these endless foreign wars although i must say we libertarians have been disappointed in the decline of anti-war sentiment among liberals in the past few years but i trust we still have that as an ongoing issue. the war on drugs, something libertarians have been critical of for many years and we work with a lot of liberals on those issues, and as a surveillance all of those things came out particularly after ed snowden's revelations, many of you remember the amendment in 2013 to rein in a very small part of nsa surveillance and one of the
striking things about that amendment to me was it came close to passing in the house, but like a lot of attempts to change the system, it got 200 votes, but no way it would get 218 votes. republicans and democrats what you had coming together and was civil libertarian democrats, libertarian leanings tea party influence republicans to vote for reining in the nsa when the centrist establishment in both parties supported every nook and cranny of the surveillance state. the amendment only went after one little granny and still couldn't get that passed. there was a subsequent amendment that was milder that did pass, libertarians, tech companies and liberals work together to fight
a couple years ago, don't ask me to explain what those are but i know my colleagues at the cato institute who did understand technology issues were very active on them. corporate welfare, immigration gay marriage, all kyushu's libertarians have been working together wrong with liberals. i did a little research and concluded cato's callers may very well have been the first thinktank scholars to endorse gay marriage, oppose the patriot act oppose the iraq war starting in 2001 and published the first study on getting out of iraq. we have a long record on these issues. it is true libertarians believe in free markets and limited constitutional government, we believe economic growth is stronger and poverty would be reduced more rapidly if we had a much stricter reliance on a limited federal government and
free markets than a lot of people in washington believe. freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and strictly limited government. i do believe there is the bigger market for this than a lot of politicians and pundits recognize. we are starting to see some of that recognition. before 20139 never saw headlines talking about the libertarian wing of congress or the libertarian faction of the republican party liberals, libertarians' unite to stop bill so i think there's a growing recognition that i do believe is still the case that there is 2% 4% of the american people who wrote will say and prompted that they are libertarians but maybe 20% or 40% of americans who it is explained to them as you generally believe government
should spend less and tax less a year generally believe government should leave people alone on issues like marriage and marijuana, that it is a much larger number. one of the things i want to do with this book is reach those people. that is my introduction to libertarianism and the libertarian mind and i am happy to engage in discussion. >> identify who you are or who you work for and answer questions. >> in legal center. to hear you undress when you talk about free markets, divided between the 1% and the rest. when you talk about free markets are you concerned about the grueling economic gap in our
society, there is no role for the government to try to deal with the economic wage gap in particular. the second is a question of money and politics, you see the crony capitalism, your view on the campaign finance system and where kato comes down in terms of trying to address a system that has a free-market that is not exactly free but has candidates raising millions of dollars from a small number of people. >> let me talk a little about inequality. i do write about that a little bit in the book. the way i would look at it is what is the real problem we are concerned about? i think the real problem is poverty, and secondarily stagnant middle-class incomes. from my own point of view every
day the price of microsoft stock goes up the wealth gap between bill gates and me gets larger but i have a tiny bit of microsoft stock so i am a little bit better off. he is a lot better off. i am more interested in me being a little better off than in him being a lot better off so there may be people who are interested simply in the gap. i am more interested in how well people are living. what i'm interested in our policies that improve middle-class incomes and poor people have a greater chance of getting out of poverty, getting into the working class, the middle class and many of the policies that are proposed to deal with inequality would actually slow economic growth, reduce the creation of jobs and that would be a bad thing. i would say there's a lot of crony capitalism in the system, there is a lot of economic
activity, there's often an assumption the government intervenes in the market to help the poor and middle-class and libertarians are against that and that is a bad thing the lot of government intervention in the market is not even intended to help in the middle class. the programs that are supposed to generally don't but a lot of the programs aren't even intended that way. they are intended to protect incumbents and those can be people with lower middle class incomes like a taxi cartel, people trying to start new competitors to the unregulated taxes and being blocked by the cartel, spreads in the state legislatures and city can alsos and existing stagnant regulations. one of the things libertarians want is break up these systems that protect people and that the higher end you have too big to fail and wall street bailout and automobile company bailouts and all of those things are
potentially good for the owners of capital but not good for a free market, not good for economic growth not good for people don't already own big banks libertarians are very much against the wall street bailout and all of that so protectionism is another area that protects the incumbents. if you are a big business that has to compete with importers thing you don't like imports but if you are a consumer you should like competition and imports libertarian stand on the side of free trade and the consumer is. u.s. about campaign financing and so on. imac first amendment absolutist and i believe spending money to advance your political ideas is an exercise of your first amendment rights. what i think studies show
academic studies is there is not much good evidence that large campaign donations, large campaign spending, actually influences politicians. people give money to politicians they like rather than politicians doing what they're funders want. however, what we do know is most campaign spending goes to incumbents but incumbents don't get defeated unless their opponents have a lot of money. if you want to protect incumbents then you pass the laws that incumbents have been passing like the mccain feingold act. if you want to see more rotation in office there are better ways to do it. allow challengers to raise enough money, put term limits on the incumbents. i would like to see putting a term limit on the president, we
have term limits on those governors, we should do the same for legislators in congress and the state legislatures so i would rather stick to the first amendment, allow people spend money as they choose knowing that if you are trying to funnel money to a member of congress there are many ways to do it that are less transparent than giving money to his campaign office. there is the mitch mcconnell center for statesmanship at the university of louisville, all those kinds of things the dole foundation which had an overpurpose to help handicapped people and it was a way to carry, you never stamp out all those things so why not make it transparent, let people give money to people they want to. that is where i come down. >> i agree with a lot of what
you are saying. hard-core libertarian. i run into a brick wall. what the libertarian mind thinks about foreign-policy. this is where i run into a brick wall everytime. >> if we define libertarians as people who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal or a little more precisely as people committed to personal freedom and economic freedom, that does not inherently tell you what to think about foreign policy, there are people who would say they hold those views and our libertarian and favor a robust american policy to advance freedom around the world which might include protecting israel and ukraine, might include the iraq war, whatever. the libertarian foreign policy is to recognize that government
is not good at achieving its purposes and that war is a devastating thing for any society and so we should avoid wars and we should avoid wars that are not our wars and pursue a policy of non interventionism so the libertarians i know tended to oppose the first gulf war, the iraq war, not necessarily the war in afghanistan america was attacked by people who had been harbor in afghanistan and non interventionists always said america must have a strong national defense strong enough to repel, encounter any potential attack, we got attacked and we responded but iraq did not attack us and so in general i think libertarians believe in peace they understand how devastating war is to lives and bodies and to the economy and society and
therefore we would like to stay out of wars whenever possible. >> i am acting director of the washington legislative office of the aclu. i want to thank you for working swiftness on range of issues immigration and criminal justice reform and any number of others. before long we are no longer going to be strange bedfellows but familiar bedfellows. i did want to ask you about but libertarian view of the equal protection language of the constitution and the various civil rights laws that have been passed and how do you, how do you reconcile those rights with some of the other views of limited government that you have talked about already? >> the equal protection clause i support the u.s. constitution, i support the equal protection
clause, cato institute is preparing a brief in the supreme court gave marriage case and we have made equal protection arguments in those previous cases and i assume we will be doing so again in this brief. i am the first in my family not to be a lawyer. i want to try not to go too be in to clauses of the constitution but it equal protection i'm in favor of. where libertarians are troubled by some of these laws is when they affect private actions. you, no distinction between state action and private action. the state must treat people equally. the state was in violation of the equal protection act throughout all the time it was imposing segregated schools, band interracial marriage, not to mention the far worse things that were done to african-americans in this country in blatant violation of what the constitution should have been understood to say. when you get into private
actions then i think you should be much more cautious and i think there has been a libertarian debate on the 1964 civil rights act. the part that overturned jim crow, libertarians are in favor of. the part that regulated private hiring and housing, some libertarians said it is better for society in the long run to outgrow -- outlaw the jim crow practices but not to interfere in private housing and hiring. other libertarians said that is a good general principle but after 250 years of compression by the state is not good enough to say we are going to stop. when you get into other groups, for instance more recently gay-rights, discrimination laws there. i understand the argument for is that. i think these laws tend to follow public opinion and so the important value is to change
public opinion in the direction of tolerance and acceptance and recognition of the dirty -- dignity and autonomy of every individual and to the extent that changes, the legal changes are not even that necessary. once they happen they reflect what has happened in society and i have to say right now the idea that we are combing the country looking for wedding planners or photographers or cake bakers and trying to use the power of the modern state to force them to take pictures of a wedding they are morally offended by is an unpleasant example of intolerance. there are lots of wedding photographers, lots of cake baker's. it just doesn't seem necessary to me to force these people to total line. the state has to treat people equally. it has not done that for lots of
groups and that is why i talk about how one of the great liberal and libertarian triumphs of american history is slowly all too slowly extending the promises of the declaration of independence, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to groups to whom they had long been denied. african-americans, women, gay people anybody who has been excluded as a class from those things. it is important the state's top that discrimination and start treating them equally and obviously we have not yet achieved marriage equality, we may be about to end that is one of the elements of equal protection in the narrow sense and promises of the national declaration of independence in a broader sense. >> there is a hole -- speaking
of individual autonomy my name is christine i was hoping you could speak a little bit as to how libertarians' feel about abortion regulations. lately, since 2011 actually fare have been more onerous regulations on providers and on women than the previous decade combined. tweeting periods used to be 24 hours, now 72 hours, providers change the physical constructs of their buildings in order to conform with things that have nothing to do with care starting to see these regulation come through that level. i was wondering if you could talk about those types of regulations the state interfering with individual in that way because there is a little bit of a conflict when it
comes to the social aspects of that. >> the usual talk about social liberalism and social tolerance when we talk about republicans and their social extreme is in usually focuses on reproductive rights and gay marriage. those are not the only examples of social extreme is some work in tolerance toward individual lifestyle choices, certainly the drug issue is one that i would put in that category and the reason journalists don't talk about is there are republicans who are less anti-gay and less pro-life than other republicans, there have been up until very few republicans who question the drug war and there was no faction or anything. on reproductive rights i think
libertarians believe the role of government is to protect life, liberty and property and right there you see a bit of a conflict. some libertarians, i would say two third to three quarters of libertarians are pro choice but there is the minority who are pro-life. they would say the first purpose of government is to protect life and this is a life. other libertarians would say the purpose of government is to protect liberty and this is the woman's choice, you can require a woman to bring forth life for another potential person and therefore liberty is the operative word here. what i notice among libertarians is both sides have more respect for the other positions and i find it a lot of the pro-life pro choice battles. i heard a writer who is probably speaking a libertarian, speak once about this and she said i
have friends who are pro-life and they don't hate women and i have friends who are pro-choice and they don't hate to babies and i keep hearing this from both sides and i think we need to be more open, to hearing, she took it more broadly than that. we need to be more open to hearing the other side's point of view and appreciate where they're coming from without assuming if they disagree with us there on the wrong side. i am not an expert on these laws before a libertarian it does back to the basic point that if you believe this is a human life and the government's purpose is to protect life than you are going to be sympathetic to these various attempts within the boundaries of supreme court jurisprudence to narrow the opportunity for termination of pregnancies. if you believe this is a woman's right, it is covered by the government's mandate to protect liberty then you will be and
sympathetic to these things. it is down to the basic principle. as i say one of the studies we published on the libertarian side, research by two women at ucla finding somewhere around two thirds or tweet 3-quarters of libertarians were pro-choice which also fits my observation of the libertarian side. >> jumping in with the question, based on your principles and beliefs, how do you look at other countries? that match your libertarian principles and beliefs or -- >> the united states looks pretty good. we had the declaration of independence the constitution, i criticize libertarians of lot of times for having an overly negative view of the world and of the united states. one of the great libertarian books was the road to serfdom.
is a great book, gray warning. it is not however a map of the world. lot of people just think we are always on the road to serfdom. i don't think that is true. all work i have been talking about here of ending slavery ending jim crow, moving towards equal rights for gay people, for women, all of that is an advance not towards serfdom but toward freedom. even within economic activity, we did cut tax rates particularly in the reagan years. in the carter years we eliminated a lot of the cartel regulation from the new deal, in transportation and finance and telecommunications and i always sometimes have libertarian in turns come up to me and say oh my god we are losing all our freedoms, we're on the road to serfdom. your you worried about being drafted and sent to vietnam?
no. i was. that is a big advance for freedom. other countries i think the united states and other western countries are pretty much in the same ballpark in terms of human rights will flock, private property markets, those kind of thing is. kato participate in the production of a reported 3-year or tweet to call the economic freedom of the world, it finds hong kong and singapore to be the most economic free countries in the world, singapore might not do so well of we included social freedom and hong kong has not had political freedom though it had personal freedom. there was robust free speech and people could live their lives as they chose, just couldn't choose their government under british rule and now under chinese rule they can't really even but in economic freedom that is true. if you combine the freedom house ratings on political freedom with the economic freedom of the
world's you are going to get countries like new zealand australia, northern europe the united states being at the top on individuals things. there might be topics where i would say some other countries doing better and i must say in the past dozen years the united states fell from third or fourth to fifteenth in the economic freedom of the world and i specify the past dozen years, not just obama but president bush, also helped to propel that decline in economic freedom. the most important fact in the economic freedom of the world report is i forget when they started doing the report but they have taken it back to 1975 and tried to assess the economic freedom of 150 countries every few years since 1975 and there has been a steady growth internationally in economic freedom. faltered a bit around the time
of the great recession but it kicked back up. a lot of that is because of india and china, the two largest countries in the world moving toward greater economic freedom and hopefully because of that greater political and personal freedom. libertarians too often are on the road to serfdom but if you look at the world as a whole, i believe, with many exhibitions, the world is moving toward greater recognition of human rights the rule of law rights of religious minorities, private property, sound money and market economics. it is slow but there is real progress happening in our time. >> last fall, a particular -- many of them.
what you think about as it relates to having full liberty obscure laws, that we were a state. >> the district of columbia at this point. the founders set up the district of columbia separately from the states because they wanted a federal district. it was not supposed to be a state and it was not supposed to have representation in congress and i think there's a problem when you have the government itself as an interest group in society. dc-9 having voting delegates in congress does not eliminate fact that senior government officials and government employees as of class are interest groups anyway but i do think that is a problem. i do not object to the district
remaining a federal district. nobody is required to live in the district. if you want to vote for president you can vote for president. if you want to vote for a member of congress you can live in virginia or maryland or anywhere else in the world but federal district makes sense, keep it the way it is in the constitution. the bigger problem and this is what i write about in this material on the parasite class, is that the bigger government gets you have both government employees as an interest group using my taxpayer dollars to lobby the government to take more of my taxpayer dollars away from me. there's something wrong with that. in addition, it creates a lot of wealth in washington that comes from the rest of society. washington has a bifurcated system of wealth but a lot of people in washington go down
with the cato institute is, in massachusetts, and see all these luxury condos and office buildings being built around us in an area that was not built up in the past 15 years or so and i think that is a sign that too much of america's wealth is being drawn to washington and being drawn into the game of lobbying and parasitism. i never convinced anybody from the district of columbia that the founders were right to have a separate federal district that that is the way i see it. >> the public policy foundation an interesting call a couple years ago, brought the speaking a libertarian, very uncomfortable with the idea of the government being in anybody's business. when these banks get too big and on the brink of collapse the government always comes in and bails them out which is an anti the bridge area as it gets ended
may be time to start tapping the size of a speech caused the risk of government bailouts, how should a libertarian think of that problem? >> i am no expert on banking regulation but i have the same thought process george will does there and i have heard libertarian economists say it would be better to make it clear to the banks that you are a business like any other business and if you run your business badly you should go out of business. that is what happens in the market process. we have destruction. if your favorite restaurant goes out of business or your restaurant goes out of business that is a very sad thing but creative destruction in the market process is what has brought us from being up for subsistence economy on the
eastern shore, the east coast of the united states to be as wealthy society as we are. we need creative destruction and that means not only creativity in the economy but there will be destruction businesses will be destroyed. what about the bank's? various people including libertarian economists have said for some years number one that fannie mae and freddie mac are in fact backed by the of full faith and credit of the u.s. treasury even though they swore on a stack of bibles they are not. we pondered actually in a study we did some years ago how could you convince the market that fannie mae and freddie mac are not backed up by -- there is a law that says they cannot draw on the credit of the united states. secretary of the treasury stand on the steps of the treasury wants the year and say i reaffirm no federal guarantee, but their loans always traded
with a discount that indicated the market thought they were backed up by the u.s. government and they were and they got bailed out. but i did talk to a couple of economists who said stocks for loans or biggest banks. indicating the market doesn't believe the biggest banks would be allowed to go bankrupt in 2008, these bailout happening and we saw t.a.r.p. you cannot argue that they the tea party started was the day the bush administration announced $800 billion bailing out the big banks and congress's phones rang off the hook with nobody organizing it. congress's phones started ringing off the hook with people saying don't give a hundred billion dollars to the big
banks. i am opposed to too big to fail, banks should stand on their own two feet, banks would make more responsible decisions if they had to stand on their own two feet. but if i don't believe that the u.s. government would let the banks fail if they make bad decisions, what do i do? accept we live in an imperfect world? or there is this argument, a bank that is too big to fail is too big. don't let it get that big. as a libertarian i don't want to cap the size of successful businesses. i don't think google is too big i don't think microsoft was too big when everybody thought was too big, now nobody worries about microsoft because it has been creatively halfway destroyed. other companies have come along. is facebook too big? i am not worried about facebook being too big but i am worried if the banks have this blank
choice of devices and all the things, when i was growing up, we had three networks and in my little town we only had one newspaper. you couldn't get the new york times or the wall street journal in my town. totally different now. you can grow up in kentucky and read the new york times every day or read the times of london every day. i can't believe people -- now there is things like uber. i can to leave people to accept that much choice in their lives will be satisfied with being told there is one government school your child has assigned to on the basis of geography or
that there is one health care plan you have got to sign up for or one retirement system that was designed for the traditional family of the 1930s social security system so i would guess that there is cynicism about government and casual acceptance of a world of infinite choice will push libertarians and millennial direction which makes me optimistic about the political future for libertarians broadly. >> one last question. talking about scandinavia, technology and social freedoms. my question is whether you think it is legitimate for people to have -- take rights away from
themselves. extremely high taxes and to say health care and education, the majority taking away their rights and doesn't agree with the rules, do you think it is possible for people to live a better life by reducing their rights? >> you talk about scandinavia. a lot of americans have a misconception about scandinavia. they call those socialist countries. they are not socialist countries, they are free trade countries with not undo levels of regulation. what they have is high levels of taxes and transfer payments. i have heard libertarians' recently saying people talk about the nordic model. if we could have them nordic model i would be happy with that. they generally are open trading economies, they are countries with a lot of personal freedom,
countries that have generally very minimal capital regulation and not so much labor regulation, high levels of taxes and transfers which libertarians don't like. if you had to make the trade some libertarians might of for that. on your philosophical question, you stated it one way at the beginning and end of your question. can a society vote to take away its own rights? is unlikely to be unanimous so that is what bothers me about talking about taking away our own rights we are in fact taking away rights from our neighbors so i don't think that is an appropriate thing and you did acknowledge that that means a majority takes away the rights of the minority. that is not good from a libertarian perspective or the perspective of moral philosophy.
is why i think it is a good idea to guarantee our rights in the constitution which we tried to do in this country in three ways, first we wrote a constitution that did not give the government any power to take away our rights, it was the very narrow set of powers and when it was proposed, the people of any free country deserve a bill of rights, alexander hamilton said what is the point of a bill of rights when the constitution gives the government no power to violate rights? people wanted a bill of rights so they won't one for greater caution and for tweet amendments the outline they were protecting and in the ninth amendment for even greater caution they said the enumeration of southern rights in this constitution shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. that is an important word. the constitution did not grant people their rights. people already had their rights and the constitution guaranteed
they would >> reporter: them. and the tenth amendment did set by the way any powers not granted the federal government are reserved to the states for the people. we have a truly redundant system to protect our rights and freedoms from a libertarian point of view didn't entirely work but compared to the rest of the world and the rest of history it worked fairly well. in general i think it is a bad idea to talk about voting to give away our rights. that is what inalienable rights means leave can't give them away. people sometimes challenge libertarians, can you sell yourself into slavery? is that part of freedom? no because your rights are inalienable. you can sell yourself for an extended contract, there was a contract for seven years to work for the washington nationals but he could not sell himself in to slavery. we would be better off protecting all of our rights and
freedoms and if people want the benefits that they think they will get from law welfare state there are ways through long-term contracts and insurance and so on to gain those benefits in a way that i pay for the choices i am willing to make and i don't impose those choices on other people. that is my case for libertarian is some and i hope those tens of millions of people who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal will buy "the libertarian mind: a menifesto for freedom" and find out if they are actually libertarian. >> give david a round of applause. [applause] >> seems to be contagious. >> thank you, everybody.
>> is there a nonfiction author or book he would like to see on booktv? send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. tweet us at booktv or post on our wall, facebook.com/booktv. >> you would think they tried to portray it as the violent group but it has to do with trends in the region. one of the trends i talk about, another trend is our young people when they were -- revolted against the government, they revolted against the fiscally and the religious elite. isis is actually about rebellion against the religious of the. is anticlerical in that sense, against authority. there is the word people use to describe